This section will cover Off-Page SEO Factors which will help you increase your ranking on Search Engines. Off-Page refers to optimization strategies outside of your website's design such as link building with authoritative sites with relevant content.
Most of the Off-Page factors you will find, all points back to one of the most important ranking factors and that is Inbound Links. Inbound links refers to links from another website to yours. And according to Google, the more inbound links you've got, the better your ranking will be.
These factors are elements influenced by visitors, readers and other publishers, not something you can do on your website.
Once you have completed your on-page SEO, be sure to follow these tips to direct links back to your sites (link building).
Blogging is one of the best tools in your arsenal. When you write a blog post for your own site, be sure to include a lot of fresh and unique content with clear calls to action. You can promote your blog on blog search engines and directories. Posting comments on other industry-related blogs that offer links, is a good way to promote your blog and get inbound links. Look for Dofollow blogs.
2. Social Media Marketing
This is the first step to getting links from high ranking sites. Social media is an effective place to promote your site and to manage your online reputation. Click here to learn how to do social networking.
3. Search Engine Submission
Webmaster Tools allows you to submit your website to popular search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Alexa, MSN and more. This allows you to get listed for free. Learn how to use Webmaster Tools here.
4. Directory Submission
While it takes longer, directory submission is effective. Provided you select your directories and categories effectively, this method can help you get links to your site. Don't waste a lot of time on submitting to every directory under the sun. Just stick with the best quality directories, such as DMOZ, ZoomInfo, Yahoo Directory, Pegasus and OneMission. It's up to you whether you go for paid listings or not.
5. Link Exchanges
Thematic Link Exchanging is when you link to industry-related websites and it is an important Google PR. Do however share these links with relevant sites only.
6. Article Submission
By writing your own articles and submitting them to directories such as EzineArticles, Now Public, GoArticles and Buzzle, you will attain good deep links, although it might be slower initially.
7. Press Releases
Press release promotion will help you to promote your site in Google News. Submit business news to PR submission sites such as PRLeap, OPEN PR and 1888pressrelease.
8. Free Classifieds
Submit classifieds with your website to sites like Gumtree, Craigslist, MySpace, Vivastreet and OLX.
Cha-Cha, Yahoo Answers, and AnswerBag allow you to answer questions that are relative to your business and to place a link to your website. This is a great way to increase inbound links without sending spam.
10. Document Sharing
Also known as PDF marketing, you can use sites such as SlideShare, Scribd and DocStoc to promote your information documents, brochures and other materials, with links to your website.
11. Yellow Pages and Local Listings
By keeping your website local, you can avoid a lot of competition, allowing search engines to quickly crawl your site and fetch content. You will be able to reach your local audience much quicker. Be sure to submit your URL to Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, Hotfrog, OLX, Gumtree and Superpages.
12. Business Reviews
You can either write reviews about other businesses, or you can ask your clients to write reviews of your business on business review sites such as Shvoong, RateitAll, Stylefeeder or Kaboodle.
13. Widgets / Gadgets / Apps
If you're an advanced developer, you could create interactive apps for your website and social networking accounts. Let your followers use the apps to help boost your branding and send traffic to your site. Apps could include games, polls, or anything else that will engage people.
14. Social Shopping Network
Free branding and advertising is always good for an ecommerce site. You can do this by submitting your products to sites such as MSN Online Shopping, Google Product Search, Kaboodle, Buzz Shout, Yahoo Online Shopping or Wists.
15. Video Marketing
Promote your site with video promotions. Whether you do a product promotion, deliver your expert opinion, or offer video reviews, you can do it all on Dailymotion, Metacafe or YouTube.
16. Photo Sharing
Allow your friends and followers to view and comment on your product photos by making them public. This will help to drive traffic to your site, particularly if you allow sharing. You can use Pinterest, Picli, Picasa, Flickr and Photobucket for this purpose.
17. Deep Linking
Also known as internal linking or cross-linking, this method involves you linking to internal website pages wherever possible. This method is a popular factor on Google's Page Rank algorithm and offers great link popularity for your site.
18. Link Baiting
If you reference any info from another site, be sure to place their website link in the post. If your content is valuable, other webmasters will do it for you too. It's a great way to increase link popularity on your site.
19. Social Bookmarking
Search engines like to visit social bookmarking sites due to the frequent updating of these sites. Provided your tags are correct and relevant, you will get good results from social bookmarking sites, in terms of link popularity and traffic. Social bookmarking can ge done on sites like StumbleUpon, Digg and Delicious.
20. Forum Posting
Whether you create your own forum, or post on threads on existing forums, is up to you. Use forums that allow you to place links in your signature (Do-Follow Forums). Search engines crawl these forums, providing excellent link juice and authority for you.
Unfortunately not all inbound links are good for your website.
Unnatural Link Exchanges: You can link to other websites, but the topic of the other site should naturally flow from your own site's content and add value to it. For instance, a medical website has no reason to link with a music website.
Paid Links: Buying or selling links is a form of unnatural link exchanging which shows ulterior motives that don't necessarily add to the user-experience. If you send someone a product or discount in exchange for the free link and article (blogger reviews) it generally falls into the paid link category. The same applies if you have a paid link that passes PageRank. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results
Advertorials: Ads that pass PageRank will harm your site. If you want to include a link in your ad, rather use the rel-nofollow attribute. While you won't get to benefit from the SEO , your audience can still follow the link to your site.
Automated Links: Google will penalise sites that do link building through automated programs.
Optimised Anchor Text: It's sometimes hard to see optimised anchor text, but it will be obvious if you do it constantly. You may be penalised if your content contains a lot of links that appear to be keywords.
Footer Links: Google doesn't want you to use keyword rich links in the footer.
Spammy Comments: Using products or services instead of your name in comments on other blogs, it is a red flag to Google.